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Maple Grove Continues Rise Under Lombardi

Oct 27, 2016 10:42PM ● Published by Doug Erlien

When Matt Lombardi took over a middle of the road Maple Grove Senior High Crimson football program in 2011, it gave an immediate boost to a team that found itself in the middle of the pack. Fast forward six seasons and Lombardi’s teams have made long postseason runs the norm.  

Fans of high school football saw what the man affectionately known as Lombo did while at Wayzata. The defensive guru helped the Trojans to state championships in 2008 and again in 2010 and immediately, Lombardi gave the Crimson something they lacked. A championship pedigree.

As Lombardi and the Crimson enter their sixth playoff season together, they are in search for their first title, but they have advanced to the state tournament in four straight seasons including back-to-back trips to the semi-final round.

Crimson senior quarterback Brad Davison has thrown for over 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns in eight playoff starts. (Photo By: Doug Erlien)

 During those two trips to the final-four, Lombardi has had a common thread to the Crimson attack in quarterback Brad Davison.

Lombardi approaches the playoffs in steps and step one is against 
Roseville. It was the Raiders that knocked the Crimson out of Lombardi’s first state tournament trip in 2013. Davison was a freshman and watched as the Raiders ended the dream. Now in his final season wearing a Maple Grove uniform, Davison and his Crimson teammates hope to earn their way to US Bank Stadium and give their coach yet another opportunity for a championship.

“Lombo has helped me immensely on the football field and off,” Davison said. “The biggest difference from when I was a sophomore until now is in my confidence. Not only in myself, but also my teammates. He has taught me how to buy into a system and be a part of something bigger than myself.”

The duo are 6-2 in the playoffs over the past two seasons and would love nothing more than to add to the win total. Davison’s experience gives the Crimson an edge and the senior quarterback gives credit to his coach.

“The biggest thing that sets Lombo apart from other coaches is his preparation and the time he puts in for us players,” Davison said. “Coach has the respect of every player on our team and we all love to be coached by him.”

The Crimson play at home 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28 against Roseville.

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